Professional linguists in places like Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Orlando or any major market nationwide can be a financial burden for people and companies. Many people ask how they can get professional interpreters and translators without breaking their budget. The following tips may help you get the most out of your American Sign Language (ASL) or Spanish interpreters or translators.
Professional Interpreter and Translator Credentials
As with many professions, the more certifications a professional holds, the more they charge. The same is true with legal and medical interpreters and document translators. Interpreters and translators who hold legal and court certifications are typically the most expensive. This is followed by Spanish medical or ASL national and educational certifications. The cheapest tend to be qualified freelancers who may have a combination of experience and education, but have not passed the professional exams in order to become certified. In general, if it’s a formal event such as medical, legal, or financial, where consequences of any misinterpretation may be serious, then you likely want a certified interpreter present. If it an informal event such as a family reunion, church event, casual meeting, party…etc. then you should be fine with a qualified interpreter.
Certified interpreters and translators are more expensive than qualified ones. Certified linguists typically provide higher quality work, while qualified ones may have the experience and education, but have not taken the appropriate exams to demonstrate that they have the language skills to become certified. Generally if it is a formal event or document with potentially grave legal or medical consequences, then you’ll probably want to use a nationally or court certified interpreter or translator. If it’s an informal event like a family reunion, wedding, religious ceremony, or the like, where miscommunication won’t be as serious, then you’ll likely be fine with a qualified interpreter.
Report Expenses to Get Breaks Under the Americans with Disability Act
Based on the IRS section 44 and/or 190, you can get a possible tax deduction of 50% up to $10,250 which maxes out at $5,000. You’ll still have to pay for the language professionals up front, but at least it will help out with your tax bill.
Ask Language Service Providers (LSP) for Discounts
Larger interpreting agencies probably have set prices, therefore you will likely have a better chance at negotiating prices with smaller language service providers. You will also have more bargaining power if you are booking interpreters for a week-long conference or are planning to book many hours such as for a training or a long medical procedure. The same is true for document translators. The more pages you are trying to translate, the more likely you’ll be able to negotiate the price. Another benefit of working with local agencies is that the money you spend is around 3 times more likely to stay in the community.
Seek Financial Support
If you’re paying for a Deaf person to have an ASL interpreter for a school trip or some type of vocational training then you can contact disability offices or vocational rehab centers in your area. They may have funding options or grants that can assist in paying for language accessibility services.
Use Telephonic or Video Remote Interpreters (VRI)
Onsite interpreters have a minimum of two hours, which means that even if the appointment lasts 30 minutes you’ll have to pay them for two hours. You can usually avoid this by booking a VRI interpreter in ASL or Spanish. You will be paying by the minute unless otherwise negotiated, but the minimums are typically much less. For such things as telemedicine or trainings this can be a great option. You will only need a tablet or desktop that can be used for Skype or FaceTime calls. Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection and good video and sound.
Book a Local Interpreter
There are benefits to bringing your own interpreter, however to avoid the travel costs of transporting an interpreter from Chicago to Los Angeles or Orlando to Long Beach, then you should contact a local interpreting agency to see what’s available in that area. Book early to ensure availability in markets with ASL shortages such as Las Vegas, New York, Washington D.C. and Raleigh.
Want to Book an Interpreter or Translator?
Whether you’re looking for qualified, certified, or remote interpreters and translators in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Long Beach, Anaheim, Orlando, Raleigh, or nationwide we can help. We will do our best to make sure the interpreters don’t exceed your budget. We were founded 10 years ago and continue to be a family operated professional language service agency. As interpreters ourselves, we have a five star rating on Yelp and Google. Our goal is to treat our customers, ASL interpreters for the Deaf, and Spanish translators as we’d like to be treated.